populist troublemaker Georgia Meloni She was appointed as Italy’s first female prime minister, becoming the country’s most far-right leader since Benito Mussolini.
She received a mandate to form a government from Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Friday afternoon after two days of official consultations, and is scheduled to be sworn in at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) on Saturday.
Last month’s general election resulted in an alliance of far-right and center-right parties led by He Italy’s very conservative brotherswinning enough seats in the Italian parliament to form a government.
Meloni announced that her government would be chosen at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, making Italy’s far-right League leader Matteo Salvini, Minister of Infrastructure.
Giancarlo Giorgetti, also from the League, was appointed Minister of Economy. Antonio Tajani of the Forza Italia party took the position of foreign minister, while the position of defense minister was transferred to Guido Crosito, one of the founders of the Brotherhood of Italy.
The new government will consist of a coalition of the Brotherhood of Italy led by Meloni, the League led by Salvini and Forza Italia, led by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The Italian Brothers received nine ministries while Forza Italia and the League each received five.
Meloni will be sworn in during a ceremony at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) on Saturday morning.
The formation of her new government revealed tensions. this weekControversial former leader Berlusconi made headlines when an audio recording broadcast by Italian news agency La Presse revealed the 86-year-old talking about his “re-established” relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Berlusconi’s office confirmed to CNN Thursday that the clips were original – and appeared to have been secretly recorded during a meeting of his Forza Italia party in the parliament hall on Tuesday.
In the audio recording, the billionaire and media mogul said he had “restored relations with President Putin” and goes on to boast that the Russian leader called him his “first of five true friends”.
His comments raised eyebrows, as diplomatic relations between Russia and Western leaders remain tense amid the Kremlin’s exhausted army. Attack on Ukraine.
Berlusconi was subjected to numerous corruption and bribery trials during his rule tumultuous political career.
Meloni was a staunch supporter of Ukraine as she fought the invasion of Moscow. Amid the violent reaction of her coalition to Berlusconi’s leaked statements, she has reaffirmed her foreign policy line.
“When we judge, Italy will not be the West’s weakest link. The nation of spaghetti and mandolini so dear to many of our critics will relaunch its credibility and defend its interests,” Meloni said late Wednesday on her Instagram account.
Meloni spoke earlier on Friday after a meeting with Mattarella and her coalition partners, and said it was necessary to form the new government “as soon as possible”.
“We are ready to rule Italy,” Meloni’s official Facebook page said. “We will be able to meet the urgency and challenges of our time with awareness and efficiency.”
Meloni entered Italy’s busy political scene in 2006, and in 2012 she co-founded the Brothers of Italy, a party whose agenda is rooted in Euroscepticism and anti-immigration politics.
The group’s popularity soared before the September elections, as Italian voters once again rejected mainstream politics and opted for a fringe figure.
She made her name for the first time as Vice President of the National Alliance, an unapologetic neo-fascist group formed by supporters of Benito Mussolini. Meloni openly admired the dictator as a young woman, but later distanced herself from his brand of fascism – although the tricolor flame symbolizing the eternal fire on his grave was kept in the emblem of the Brothers of Italy.
She has pursued a strongly conservative agenda throughout her time in politics, often questioning gay rights, abortion rights, and immigration policies.